This girl from my school, Dinah, she was a really good girl, you know? I mean she never drank and she never did anything crazy and she never got in trouble. That’s why it was so weird to see her stumbling drunk through the fountain in broad daylight. I guess it was June. It was early evening. Amanda and I were wandering along the marina with nothing much to do. I wanted to drink but there was nowhere to go. Dinah was wasted. She’d already got drunk in a field and had sex with some boy I’d never heard of. She was supposed to be meeting friends at the Royal. It was this place where you could hire a function room and they didn’t usually ID you so it was pretty much the only time you could drink at a real bar. There was a party on there that night which Amanda and I hadn’t been invited to. We assisted Dinah in getting there; she had a ticket to get in. The bouncer allowed me to go in for a minute to find her friends. Once she’d been safely delivered inside, Amanda and I turned to leave, then we figured what the hell and asked if we could stay. The bouncer gave us a conspiratorial smile and ushered us through without asking for money or ID.
Inside, Dinah proceeded to make out with like twenty boys. Her transformation was amazing, and historic. Any male who walked up to the bar was pounced on. Meanwhile, I discovered vodka & lime. I drank about seven in quick succession, felt ill, and never touched it again. The music consisted of things like Mr Vain by Culture Beat, What Is Love by Haddaway. There were only two semi-passable songs they ever played at the Royal, both of which I found boring but at least they made a change from the Eurodance. Light My Fire by The Doors, and Sit Down by James. During the latter everybody would sit down on the floor. It was, you know, tedious.
I think there were two boys that night but I just can’t remember one of them. Anyway, near closing time, I guess I danced with #12, and then we made out a little. It wasn’t really a big deal. He was quite conventionally attractive. It turned into an “okay, I need to go and find my friend now” thing, and I can’t even remember which of us turned to that excuse.
I think I met him one time after that. I was working in a corner shop, and he pulled up in a car. He looked familiar but I was never quite sure if he was the boy from the Royal or someone else. I remember he said, in an effort at small talk, “How’s tricks?” Nobody had ever used that phrase with me before. Or, I think, since.